Keep Me In Your Heart For A While: The Best Of Madeleine Peyroux

Madeleine Peyroux

Rounder 2014

Review by David Bowling

Madeleine Peyroux was Georgia born but French bred due to a move by her parents. She honed her musical skills as a teenager busking on the Streets of Paris. She recorded her first album in 1996 and while she has achieved a degree of commercial success in the United States; in Europe she is a star.

She is a throwback to another era as she is a vocalist in the Billie Holiday style and tradition. Peyroux is an interpreter of songs who moves them into a jazz and blues format through her ability to annunciate each word of the lyrics, while at the same time projecting such emotions as sadness, joy, and regret.

As with many jazz and blues singers of the 1930’s, she has smoothness to her style. The instrumental backing always allows her voice to be at the center of her music.

Her new release, Keep Me In Your Heart For A While: The Best Of Madeleine Peyroux, gathers together 15 of her best performances from her six studio albums. She has an ability to select songs by famous composers that are not as well-known as their signature songs. Tunes such as “You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go” (Bob Dylan), “Dance Me To The End Of Love” (Leonard Cohen), “Guilty” (Randy Newman), “Desperadoes Under The Eves” (Warren Zevon), and “Smile”(Charlie Chaplin) are all taken on a journey through time as they are transformed into graceful and bluesy renditions.

She is an artist who tends to disappear for periods of time so this compilation provides a nice overview of her career. It is not only good music from a particular style but also provides a nice taste of an artist who many times travels under the radar.

Rating: ***1/2